Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Kevin Barnett, DrPH, MCP

Senior Investigator

Kevin Barnett is a Senior Investigator at the Public Health Institute.  He has led research and fieldwork in hospital community benefit and health workforce diversity at PHI for over two decades, working with hospitals, government agencies, and community stakeholders across the country. 

Recent work includes a study of community health assessments and implementation strategies for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a national initiative funded by the Kresge Foundation to align and focus investments by hospitals, other health sector stakeholders, and financial institutions in low income communities.  

Current work includes a partnership with The Governance Institute and Stakeholder Health with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to build place-based population health knowledge among hospital board members and senior leadership, a national study of hospital interventions to address food insecurity, and a partnership with the Carsey School of Public Policy to convene regional meetings of hospital and community teams with community development financial institutions to design intersectoral health improvement strategies. 

He serves as the Co-Director of the California Health Workforce Alliance, as a member of the Board of Directors of Communities Joined in Action, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Trinity Health System.  

Affordable Care Act Consulting

PHI will assist Hilltop Institute of the University of Maryland Baltimore County with preparation of an analytical paper for state policymakers on the implications of Form 990, Schedule H requirements that are part of the Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act Implementation Initiative

PHS is partnering with OXS Consulting in the assessment of health career pathways systems development processes in California communities, with particular focus on Building Healthy Communities sites. The project is assisting in the design of technical support and funding strategies for The California Endowment's ACA (Affordable Care Act) Implementation Initiative.


Alignment of Governance and Leadership in Healthcare

This project will support health care transformation among senior leaders and board members of hospitals and health systems by increasing awareness, knowledge, and collaborative learning about improving population health. To accomplish this goal, PHI, the Governance Institute, and Stakeholder Health will engage three cohorts of senior leaders and board members in intensive retreats and follow-up coaching and an evaluation to assess impact. Learn more.

Assessment of Employer Need for Bay Area Community Health Workers

The project will develop a Bay Area-focused assessment of employer needs for community health workers, as well as an assessment of existing training programs and how these align with employer needs.

Building Healthy Communities - Hospital Community Benefit Engagement

The purpose of this grant is to apply findings and lessons learned from the collection and analysis of community benefit programming data in the 14 Building Healthy Communities sites to create deeper collaboration and partnership-building between local hospitals and a subset of six of the sites in City Heights, Santa Ana, Coachella, Long Beach, South Kern and East Oakland.

California Future Health Workforce Commission

Spearheaded by PHI's Kevin Barnett, the California Future Health Workforce Commission aims to help the state close the gap between the health workforce we have and the workforce we need. The Commission is composed of recognized senior leaders who represent California’s diversity and bring expertise from health, education, employment, labor, and government sectors. Staffing for the Commission comes from the Public Health Institute with support from California’s leading health philanthropies, including The California Endowment, Blue Shield of California Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the California Health Care Foundation.

Co-chaired by Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California, and Lloyd Dean, president and CEO of Dignity Health, the Commission marks the first time that top statewide leaders from these sectors have coordinated efforts to address this issue. Commissioners will draft a master plan to bolster the health workforce with an emphasis on primary care, behavioral health, and care for the aging. Learn more about the Commission.

California Health Workforce Alliance: Core Mission Support

Current workforce development efforts in California are fragmented and lack the scale, optimal geographic distribution, and sustainability to address current and projected needs. The California Health Workforce Alliance will provide a dedicated infrastructure to develop and implement more systematic, coordinated health workforce solutions. It will also be a catalyst and innovator for delivery system and corresponding practice model change.

California Health Workforce Alliance: Core Mission Support

The California Health Workforce Alliance will provide a dedicated infrastructure to develop and implement more systematic, coordinated health workforce solutions. It will also be a catalyst and innovator for delivery system and corresponding practice model change that will create new models for the provision of services and workforce roles.

California Health Workforce Alliance: Tool Development

The goal of this project is to support the California Health Workforce Alliance's efforts to develop tools for ongoing dialogue, planning, policy development, coordination and action with sector partners and stakeholders.

California Health Workforce Core Operating Support

Core operating support for the California Health Workforce Alliance to continue to develop and implement statewide and regional strategies and policies to increase the diversity of the state’s health care workforce.  Objectives include: continue to inform policymakers and opinion leaders about the need for a diverse health care workforce and continue to convene key stakeholders working toward diversity in the health professions across California at least three times annually as a learning exchange and to build relationships to strengthen the pipeline.

Collaboration with the State Health Workforce Development Council

The California Health Workforce Alliance will collaborate with the State Health Workforce Development Council and California workforce funders to guide discussions and recommendations for increasing workforce and diversity initiatives in the healthcare industry.

Community Health Workers, Promotores and the Triple Aim: Taking Innovation to Scale

The California Health Workforce Alliance (CHWA) is conducting a statewide assessment that examines specific contributions of community health workers (CHWs)/promotores (Ps) related to Triple Aim goals. A report of findings and recommendations that includes case profiles will be disseminated in July 2013.  The report will build consensus among CHWA’s diverse membership and lay the groundwork for a second project to convene a statewide taskforce and implement strategies that take the engagement of CHWs/Ps to scale. 

Evaluation of Community Clinic Efficiency

PHI is evaluating the operations of four clinics in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and four in South Bend, Indiana. Stage one focuses on internal operations (e.g., staffing, service volume, efficiency), and stage two on contextual factors (e.g., preventable emergency department utilization, other area safety net clinics), to increase efficiency and effectiveness at the regional level.

Linking Community Benefit and Community Development

PHI will organize a meeting with officials from hospitals, financial institutions, businesses, and city and county government to develop a strategy for aligned investment in selected San Francisco neighborhoods. A template for meeting replication highlighting lessons learned, outcomes and a stepwise planning process for hosting similar meetings will be developed.

Primary Care Residency Project Implementation

The California Workforce Alliance will conduct a review and gap analysis, and then develop a strategic plan to increase the yield and distribution of primary care residency graduates aligned with projected needs.

Primary Care Workforce Development: A Review of Innovations and Opportunities

PHI will review Primary Care Workforce Development opportunities through environmental scans, conducting informant interviews, and developing report summaries.

Santa Rosa Hospital Community Benefit Program Review

Informed by the five core principles of the Advancing the State of the Art in Community Benefit (ASACB), PHI is conducting a formal review of 11 hospital community benefit programs in Santa Rosa, Calif. This continuous quality improvement process aims to facilitate the optimal use of limited charitable resources.

Strategy to Expand Success of the Healthy Community Initiative

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation partners with the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank on the Healthy Community Initiative, which works to enhance collaboration between community development and public health. This project with PHI will expand the initiative by developing a strategy to further build the connections between community development and health, and to develop health metrics to monetize health.

Tackling Hunger to Improve Health in Americans

To identify and address needs of food insecure patients with chronic disease PHI will conduct a health and economic burden study. Deliverables include exploratory evaluation of practices to identify and address needs of food insecure patients along with creation of tools for health system leadership. Learn more: http://www.phihungernet.org

Policy Leadership for Health Care Transformation: Formalizing our Commitment to Communities (2018)

Help spread the word with a tweet: How are healthcare organizations using policy to institutionalize their commitment to the #socialdeterminantsofh...

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Webinar: CACHE 101 (2018)

The Center to Advance Community Health & Equity (CACHE), housed at the Public Health Institute, helps nonprofit hospitals, health systems, and ...

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Horizon 2030: Meeting California’s Primary Care Workforce Needs (2016)

Help spread the word with a tweet: How can we address CA's primary care workforce shortage & improve health? New report: http://bit.ly...

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Making Food Systems Part of Your Community Health Needs Assessment (2016)

Practical Guidance from the Tackling Hunger Project Community health needs assessments (CHNAs) are conducted every three years by nonprofit hos...

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Community Health Workers & Hospitals: Emerging Trends (2015)

A Conversation with Kevin Barnett, Grace Damio, and Carl Rush  What are some of the best or most innovative ways hospitals are using commu...

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Community Health Workers in California: Sharpening Our Focus on Strategies to Expand Engagement (2015)

In Community Health Workers in California: Sharpening Our Focus on Strategies to Expand Engagement, PHI’s California Health Workforce Allianc...

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Report Calls for Expanded Use of Community Health Workers as Health Reform Increases Need for Care (2014)

The time has come to bring community health workers (CHWs) and promotores “into the mainstream of the US health care system,” states th...

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Supporting Alignment and Accountability in Community Health Improvement: The Development and Piloting of a Regional Data-Sharing System (2014)

The purpose of this project is to develop and field test a set of online tools that support the comparative review of specific elements of publicly...

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Taking Innovation to Scale: Community Health Workers, Promotores, and the Triple Aim (2013)

This brief report provides an overview of preliminary findings, observations and recommendations from PHI's California Health Workforce Allianc...

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Schedule H and Hospital Community Benefit—Opportunities and Challenges for the States (2012)

This brief, co-authored by PHI Senior Investigator Kevin Barnett, discusses key federal community benefit reporting requirements developed by the I...

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Beyond the Numerical Tally: Quality and Stewardship in Community Benefit (2009)

Uniform Standards and Lessons from the Advancing the State of the Art in Community Benefit Demonstration Nonprofit hospitals can play an import...

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Advancing the State of the Art in Community Benefit: Toolkit (2008)


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Community Benefit Planning Handbook (2008)

Strengthening Commitment to Mission A community benefit plan is a document, usually produced in conjunction with the health care organization&r...

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From the Mouths of Leaders: Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities to Increase Health Professions Workforce Diversity in California (2008)

The Connecting the Dots Initiative: A Comprehensive Approach to Increase Health Professions Workforce Diversity in California This report is on...

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Increasing the Diversity of the Health Professions K-12 Networks of Support (2008)

The Connecting the Dots Initiative: A Comprehensive Approach to Increase Health Professions Workforce Diversity in California As the population...

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Coalition & Network Building

Building strong coalitions and networks is essential to solving today’s pressing public health issues. The Public Health Institute (PHI) can ...

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Community Development

Many of the social determinants that shape health also are tied to poverty, such as employment, education, housing, and the built environment. The ...

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Community Health

Many local environments—especially in low-income communities—limit access to healthy foods and provide few opportunities for physi...

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Public Policy Development

The Public Health Institute believes in the importance of research- and community-based approaches to policy development. PHI produces forward...

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